Sunday, August 26, 2012

Waste Not - Want Not

Some interesting and related stories off the net: 
Americans are throwing out nearly every other bite of food, wasting up to 40% of the country’s supply each year - a mass of uneaten provisions worth $165 billion, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

An average family of four squanders $2,275 in food each year, or 20 pounds per person per month, according to the nonprofit and nonpartisan environmental advocacy group.

But American consumers are used to seeing pyramids of fresh produce in their local markets and grocery stores, which results in $15 billion annually in unsold fruits and vegetables, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. In restaurants and home kitchens, massive portions often end up partly in the trash.

In its report, the council urges the government to set a target for food-waste reduction. Companies should look for alternatives in their supply chain, such as making so-called baby carrots out of carrots too bent to be sold whole at the retail level.

The study also asks Americans to learn when food goes bad and to become less averse to buying scarred or otherwise imperfect produce. The average consumer should also save and eat leftovers, researchers said.

More than enough food is wasted each year than is needed to feed all of our nation's hungry.


Nearly 500 tons of donated hay will be delivered to seven fire-affected families and business in the Jordan Valley and Frenchglen communities in Oregon. There are reports that a typical yard mowing will create 75 pounds of clippings - 500 tons is equivalent to the clippings from 13,334 mowed laws. Or in other terms, the donated hay will provide 50,000 meals-ready-to-eat for livestock impacted by wildfire.

 17 large semi-trucks have been donated to haul this emergency hay. The current market rate for hauling hay is $30 per ton, and with each truck hauling at least 30 ton, the per truck donation amounts to $900. Donations from the trucking community for this one day effort will exceed $15,000, 204 hours of service, and cover 5150 miles. 

Food insecurity is not knowing if you will have enough food to eat, where it will come from and regularly not having meals. says 1 in 6 people in the United States goes hungry.   
  • Although related, food insecurity and poverty are not the same. Unemployment rather than poverty is a stronger predictor of food insecurity. 
  • According to the USDA, over 16 million children lived in food insecure (low food security and very low food security) households in 2010. 
  • 14.7% of rural households are food insecure, an estimated 3 million households
  •  It is morally reprehensible that the people that built this country should suffer hunger in a land of plenty, which they helped to create.  In 2010, 7.9 percent of households with seniors (2.3 million households) were food insecure.
  • One of the most common misconceptions is the assumption that if someone is hungry, that means they do not have a job and are living on the streets. What most people don’t understand is that anyone can experience hunger. It is a silent epidemic that affects 49 million Americans.
  • Lack of access to a nutritious and adequate food supply has implications not only for the development of physical and mental disease, but also behaviors and social skills.

Sportsmen Against Hunger (google by state Dept. of Natural Resources):
Hunters are encouraged to donate their entire deer harvest to food banks and charities. Participating meat processors will grind the venison into two-pound packages of burger.  For more information call 217-785-5091, write - Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.  has a listing of all food banks, homeless shelters and soup kitchens.  Most take donations of fresh garden produce (must be in healthy, good condition and clean).  Call first to see if they accept (usually means if they have a place to store) and the quantity they can take (you don't want them to have to deal with too much and rotting produce.)
Food pantries always take cash donations because they can purchase groceries in bulk cheaper than you can purchase at retail outlets. Jewell talks about her own hunger and homelessness as a child and sings about an effort to feed children.
Shelters, food banks, and soup kitchens are in desparate need of volunteers.  Organize your garden club, church group, Scouts, soriety/fraternity, sports team, school club, or your family to participate in a volunteer effort.  Every non profit in this country need volunteers - add your set of hands to the task. 



  1. Ok and you do not like numbers? Lol. Tough issue, what about all good land that government pays so farmers can keep price high! Why not work the land creating jobs and send gov aid in food versus billions of dollars printed with nothing to back them. Make a super fattening corn to slow down the terrosits, that steal our aid money and turn it into weapons to use against us? DEG as Indepent write-in candidate for President. You could get on TV and win the swing voters. Problem is this election needs a none of the above box. I see a DEG political Blog coming? We need some inspiration. Or just live with fact we are no longer going to be an economic superpower unless we start sending past due bills to countries we blew up, because they attacked us, and then we rebuilt them. Got me started DEG!

  2. Brett, Nope - sticking to gardening and grandbabies!